Left: Professor ZZT Boggenpoel , Right: Dr Jan-Harm Swanepoel
During the December 2016 graduation ceremonies, Dr Jan-Harm Swanepoel graduated with a LLD degree under the auspices of the SARCPL. The title of his thesis is Constitutional property law in Central Eastern European jurisdictions: A comparative analysis [Professor ZZT Boggenpoel (supervisor) Professor AJ van der Walt (co-supervisor)]
This dissertation investigates three areas of constitutional property law doctrine, namely the concept of property for constitutional purposes, the distinction between deprivation and expropriation and the application of the proportionality principle as a means of determining the legitimacy of interferences with property. More specifically, it is determined how these three doctrinal areas are approached in the established constitutional democracies of Germany, the United States of America, the principles developed by the European Court of Human Rights, as well as relatively young constitutional democracies in Central Eastern Europe and South Africa. The respective German and US law approaches to the three doctrinal areas differ in certain aspects. Interestingly, while their points of departure differ, they reach similar conclusions in some instances. These two jurisdictions are presented as two points on a continuum of approaches to the three doctrinal areas, with the aim of determining whether the constitutional democracies in Central Eastern Europe and in South Africa resemble an approach closer to German or US law. The principles of the European Court of Human Rights regarding the three doctrinal areas are also investigated because they represent an alternative framework that influences the development of constitutional property law in the younger constitutional democracies, particularly in Central Eastern Europe because of their links to the European Union. Generally speaking, in relation to the three doctrinal areas, the dissertation concludes that on the continuum between German and US law, the constitutional democracies in Central Eastern Europe and South Africa seem to follow an approach that resembles German law rather than US law, although no explicit reference is made in this regard.